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Old January 9, 2013, 04:35 PM   #1
Hoppy
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1916 Erfurt Luger

Hi,
It's been a long time since I've posted anything on this site, almost 10 years...

We recently moved into our new house and I've been organizing and storing my collection and supplies. This Luger actually belongs to my Mother but has been hiding out with my collection for years. I noticed today that the leather holster was covered with mold, something that must have come about in one of the last rentals we were in. Yuck.

I took everything apart, cleaned the gun up and also cleaned the holster. I figured I would take some pictures of everything while I was at it.

The bluing is quite worn, but the gun is in good shape. All matching serial numbers. The only thing wrong that I can see is the firing pin is cracked. This particular crack doesn't seem as if it would interfere with firing as the pin is pushed forward by the spring that is inside of it.

It is a neat piece of history. There are two mags for it. One has the wooden base, the other plastic. One says PCB-1 on it, the other says PCB-2. These were engraved in by hand by some past owner I would guess. The only story I know is that my Grandfather brought this back after WWII. He was in the PA Infantry, Timberwolves.

Enjoy...
101_0469_s.jpg

101_0465_s.jpg

101_0467_s.jpg
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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Couple more pics...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 101_0470_.jpg (130.2 KB, 90 views)
File Type: jpg 101_0471_s.jpg (136.1 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg 101_0473_s.jpg (136.3 KB, 69 views)
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:07 PM   #3
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Have you shot it yet? or do you not plan on shooting?
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Old January 10, 2013, 02:11 PM   #4
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The second pic in the first post- What is that?
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Old January 10, 2013, 04:02 PM   #5
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it is the firing pin.

it appears to be a military version as there is no safety sear.
very cool..not to sure but I believe 1916 was the last year for Eufert.

I have a 1914 Eufert #'s correct, the Mag's should have the same # as the gun along with those #1 and #2 . a replacement firing pin shouldn't be to hard to find, but I'd make sure to keep the old one as it is also numbered to the gun.
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Old January 10, 2013, 08:32 PM   #6
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Safety sear?

That is the early firing pin without the flutes that prevent oil from slowing the firing pin. As it is, the crack it is not doing any harm, but if you want to fire the gun, I recommend you replace the firing pin. Should it break and jam, the gun could fire accidentally.

Jim
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Old January 10, 2013, 10:46 PM   #7
Hoppy
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Hey Fellas,

I admit, I did shoot it years ago. I noticed the firing pin and haven't shot it since. I hadn't thought about the firing pin getting stuck, good point.

I don't know much about these, but have seen pictures of 1916 Erfurts on auction, with a little info on them. I wish I knew more.

I'll have to double check the mags, I don't remember seeing a serial number on them.

Regarding the serial number, I remember seeing something about 1-10000 and then a1-a10000 or something like that. This one doesn't have a letter prefix that I could find. I'll see if I can do some more research on it.
Thanks..
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Old January 11, 2013, 01:51 PM   #8
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The full (and official) Luger serial number appears on the front of the grip frame under the barrel. The serial number on other parts may be incomplete.

Military Luger serial numbers ran 1-9999, then 1a-9999a, 1b-9999b, and so on. Numbering began with 1 at the start of each year. So a complete and unique Luger description must include the manufacturer, the year, and the full serial number including the suffix letter if any.

Jim
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Old January 11, 2013, 06:12 PM   #9
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mine has the full # on the barrel, on the "grip frame" and on what might be called the slide....all the others are just the last 2 digits.
also the full # is on each mag ....the bottom along with mag No. i.e. #1 or #2
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Old January 11, 2013, 10:35 PM   #10
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Not all barrels have the letter suffix, but most do. Magazines usually have just the number and prefix (if any) for the one issued in the pistol, and the number with a "+" sign for the extra one in the holster.

Jim
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Old January 14, 2013, 04:11 PM   #11
Hoppy
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Thanks for the info guys,
I checked and the serial number does not have a prefix. It is 9x75
The wooden based mag has a serial number but it does not match the gun, it's from an earlier gun. The second mag has nothing on it.
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Old January 16, 2013, 08:27 PM   #12
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What is the country of origin of that pistol? I have a mauser with the same crown. Mine has an L under it and I was told its belgium. king Louis.
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Old January 16, 2013, 11:03 PM   #13
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The pistol was made at Erfurt, in Germany, then the site of a German government arsenal. The crown is a stylized representation of the German imperial crown.

Jim
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Old January 16, 2013, 11:26 PM   #14
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If you ever have misfeed problems from one of the older magazines, or a later magazine that shows wear, try using ammo with truncated cone bullets.
The original milspec ammo used the truncated cone bullet, and misfeeds only became a problem when they switched to the ogive and round nose bullets.

If the notch in the magazine, or the catch itself, is worn or cut too low the magazine sits too low for positive feeding of the more common rounded nose FMJ bullets. The feed is more forgiving when the truncated cone bullet is used.
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Old January 17, 2013, 02:54 PM   #15
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Boogie, a Belgian made gun would be marked with a "ELG in oval" and a "perron" (looks like a candlestick) as proof marks. The big crown shown in the picture is NOT a proof mark but a manufacturing facility decal. Pictures of gun and mark would help.
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Old January 17, 2013, 04:29 PM   #16
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Hi, "Demon",

The German army changed to the round nose bullet in 1918, apparently because there was concern that the truncated cone bullet could be considered a "dum-dum" bullet. I have not see any indication that feeding problems with the Luger pistol increased at that time.

The Luger has always been prone to feed problems, in part because of the same grip angle that is praised for its ergonomics. After moving the recoil spring to the grip, Luger changed the grip angle from the almost 90 degree Borchardt in an effort to get more positive breechblock closure, but (no free lunch) that resulted in a sharp angle to the magazine and less than optimal cartridge positioning.

Jim
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Last edited by James K; January 17, 2013 at 09:35 PM.
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Old January 17, 2013, 05:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
I have a mauser with the same crown. Mine has an L under it and I was told its belgium. king Louis.
That would be Leopold. There were several Belgian kings named Leopold. Leopold I (famous for the disaster in the Congo), Leopold II, Leopold III (king of Belgium at the time Belgium was invaded), and Leopold IV.
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Hi, "Demon",

The German army changed to the round nose bullet in 1918, apparently because there was concern that the truncated cone bullet could be considered a "dum-dum" bullet. I have not see any indication that feeding problems with the Luger pistol increased at that time.
I was under the impression that they began the switch over in 1914 and that almost all issued 9mm Luger ammo was round nosed by 1916.
Only reason I'd heard of it was when I tried to find out where some Cupro Nickel truncated cone 9mm ammo I picked up had come from. That and reading up on the Truncated Cone hollow nose bullets of the SuperVel ammo I used to use in my HiPower.

PS
http://cartridgecollectors.org/docum...Cartridges.pdf
According to this source the change to the roundnose bullet was in 1915-1916, with truncated cone bullets still being used for the 9mm Luger cartridge by US cartridge manufacturers.

Quote:
The Luger has always been prone to feed problems, in part because of the same grip angle that is praised for its ergonomics. After moving the recoil spring to the grip, Luger changed the grip angle from the almost 90 degree Borchardt in an effort to get more positive breechblock closure, but (no free lunch) that resulted in a sharp angle to the magazine and less than optimal cartridge positioning.

Jim
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Good points, and no doubt why Browning style 9mm pistols have fewer problems when mag catches get a bit worn.
Probably the switch from a shouldered bottle neck 7.65 to the straight tapered 9X19 also contributed.

Last edited by Rainbow Demon; January 18, 2013 at 01:38 AM.
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Old January 19, 2013, 05:08 AM   #19
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That is a neat Luger pistol. I have a few Mauser made P.08s and shoot the East Germany re-issued Vopo guns.

With handloads and Sako 124 FMJs, they can still perform very well at the range. This one was made in 1937 and got a Czech made barrel installed by East German armourers.

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Old January 19, 2013, 11:59 AM   #20
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On the bullet shapes, I was wrong, and my apologies. Per Görtz and Sturgess, the initial concern was expressed in 1914, but it was not until 22 March 1916 that the Army order was issued that only ogival point bullets were to be produced and issued, and existing truncated cone ammo was to be used in target practice. The Navy, though, did not order the withdrawal of the cone bullet from combat use until 12 October 1918, which is where I got the 1918 and became confused.

Just FWIW, the early history of the 9mm is interesting. The original caliber for the Parabellum pistol was, as we all know, the 7.65 cartridge. Now one of the main concerns of a cartridge designer is case support (or "headspace"). The cartridge has to have a means of support against being pushed too far into the chamber and also must provide a consistent support against the firing pin blow. If the latter support is not consistent and solid, the result will be inaccuracy and misfires.

The bottleneck rifle cartridge came about because of the desire for a large powder charge while keeping the ballistically superior small caliber bullet. Originally, those cartridges retained the case rim for support. But then Mauser realized that the case shoulder could provide support and the rim eliminated. By 1900, all cartridge cases were either bottle necked or rimmed.* Some were both, but the rim provided the case support (e.g., .303 British). A bottle neck case was supported on its shoulder and could be rimless (e.g., the 8mm Mauser rifle and 7.63mm Mauser pistol). So Luger's cartridge, a modified 7.65mm Borchardt, had a shoulder and was rimless.

But German army tests showed that the small caliber was inadequate, and the army requested a caliber of 9mm. Poor Georg had problems. He wanted to retain the cartridge base size so as not to have to retool the pistol production, but when he expanded the neck of the 7.65 and left the shoulder, the shoulder was too small to stop the cartridge and to provide support. Finally, he hit on the idea of simply supporting the cartridge on the case mouth. That worked fine. But, he really should have gone to 9.5mm, because the 9mm cartridge ended up with a tapered case that has caused feeding problems over the years.

*Browning had somewhat the same problem. He started with the .32 S&W and .38 S&W cartridges and found the rimmed rounds wouldn't feed well in a magazine. So he began to cut down the rim until they worked, but the result was a semi-rimmed case in the .32 ACP and .38 ACP, with case support provided by the rim. Both rounds can have feeding problems (rim lock) in some guns. By the time he developed the .45 ACP, he was aware of Luger's system but rejected the tapered case in favor of a straight case, which has made feeding in a .45 ACP pistol or SMG much less problematical.

Jim
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Old May 27, 2014, 09:41 AM   #21
Rick4076
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matching numbers

So my 1916 luger has matching serial numbers ever where except the side plate that appears to have a different number does that de-value the gun?
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Old May 27, 2014, 10:51 AM   #22
Jim Watson
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The 7.65 has a pretty good taper from base to shoulder, the Luger is designed to handle a tapered case. So Georg didn't care. Other brands have had to work with what was there.

I thought the truncated cone did ok in pistols (It does in mine but I do not have a Luger at present.) and the roundnose came in with the trommelmagazin and big sticks for early SMGs.

Any road, I don't know if the 7.65 would open out to a straight case with 9.5mm bullet.
Surely a 9.3 would fit and the diameter was already well known in German barrelmaking circles.
Would we now have a .40 cal if there had been a .366 well established on the market?


The only other tapered 9mms I recall are the 9mm Bergman Bayard/Largo and the 9mm Mauser Export. They have about the same head and mouth diameters as the Para, but the taper is less because the cases are longer.
The .38 Auto and 9mm Browning Long are straight, albeit semirimmed, the .380 and 9mm Steyr are straight rimless.


I would expect a replacement sideplate to reduce the resale value a bit. The legend is that throwing away the sideplate was a quick way to disable the gun before capture and not give the dirty American a working souvenir.
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